I have to find a gift for a friend who is a reader. She prefers, I think, lighter (non-psycho-butcher) mysteries and fantasy…and perhaps comedies of manners. For example, I think the Silence of the Lambs subgenre is out, and the vague descriptions I gave her of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire quite turned her off (too ruthless/bloody).
Agatha Christie, Lord of the Rings, Wallace and Gromit, Jeeves & Wooster are “in”.
I myslef haven’t been keeping up in that sort of literature for a while. Does anyone have any opinions and/or recommendations of books (or perhaps even DVD movies) that might appeal? Preferably something new or hard to obtain, as she’ll be likely to already have older stuff.
If she hasn’t read them, the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series is good. Actually more comedy of manners than mysteries. Most of the time there isn’t even a murder. Alexander McCall Smith, the author, also has a couple of other series going and I think there is a new one with his Scottish detective, whose name I can’t remember at the moment.
Elmore Leonard, J.A. Jance and Carl Hiaasen are excellent mystery writers w/o much of the shock and gore. All are fairly prolific and probably have new books out. They all have good charactor development.
And how could I forget the **Thursday Next/b] series by Jasper Fforde. It’s about detectives who investigate “crimes against literature,” with plenty of nods to book-lovers. Probably find it in the fantasy section.
Caroline Graham has a series of cozy English Inspector-type mysteries that I like. She has a way with peripheral characters and village life. There aren’t very many in the series and I was pleased to find the lasted one at the library today.
The Burglar series by Lawrence Block another fun and humorous mystery series. She should stay away from Block’s other series, though, with Matthew Scudder. Those are dark and nasty.